The Detroit variant of Rock & Roll is the stomping revivalist thread that runs, via numerous re-takes and the up and down swings of fashion, more unless unbroken from the late 1950’s to the present.
Jack White is frequently cited in the refusal of this quintessentially American, undead, 60’s sound to ever quite die but even its musical Godfathers, from Link Wray to the Asheton brothers and Mr. Osterberg and beyond always seemed to be looking back to move forward.
The Gore Gore Girls are not quite in such esteemed company but ten years after their discovery by Hip Records and a lot of hard gigging, this Rock & Roll girl gang know how to shake the tail feather of Rock & Roll in the face of the audience and shake it good!
Taking their name from a Herschell Gordon Lewis B-Movie, which featured the tag line, “Nothing has ever stripped your nerves as screamingly raw as the Gore Gore Girls ” Amy Gore, the principal of this Rock & Roll girlschool seems to have modelled their uniform more on Russ Meyer’s Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill.
Matching, hollow bodied, (sponsored) Gretsch guitars were synchronised in rehearsed girl group moves as Amy Gore, The Hammer and Melody Licious, strutted around and owned the stage dressed like the Shangri-Las let loose in a fetish store. Alicia Warrington providing a solid beat around which the sound was anchored.
Amy Gore had the kind of slightly wild eyed, don’t fuck with us stare only acquired by a band leader ready to take the fight to the audience and the PVC, fishnet, big hair and 60’s boots thing they’ve got going suggested a highschool bop gone dangerously awry. The ‘bitch rock’ offspring of L7 and the Ronettes – ready to rumble.
Though sections of the audience seemed to be confusing lumbering about with a beer bottle in a Happy Mondays daze with actual dancing, there were signs of a response to Amy’s imprecations. Each song lasted no more than a taut three minutes and the set seemed like an object lesson in canonical riffs without ever descending too far into cliché and self-parody, definitely more B-57 than B-52.
The Gore Gore gang’s latest, Get The Gore, on Bloodshot records, is to be gotten now.